Thursday, August 28, 2008

laughter and cake wrecks

I'm sitting at the dining room table in my daughter's home in North Ogden. I've only been here a day and a half and we've already shared so much with one another... from the ridiculous to the sublime!

We got giddy and laughed till tears streamed down our cheeks. We cried till the need for tears subsided, and our salt stained faces broke into laughter again. I can't think of anywhere I would rather be than wherever my children and grandchildren are. We don't need to go shopping, visit any of the local sights, see any chick flicks, eat any grand meals, or share in any profound conversation. (although we do all of those things, especailly shop, eat well and wax wise) But, we really just need to be in the same room soaking up each others vibes to be sharing good times)

My daughter, Chandelar (Chandi) and I are currently looking for high quality, modest, Practical Magic pretty, or fashionably chic (not at all scary) Witch's costumes for adults. Any ideas?

Anyway, just thought I'd say Howdy... and let Lin know that I haven't fallen into a sink hole somewhere between Sanpete and Weber Counties. I'm just occupied with being "mom" and "Gigi" to my brood.

Have a Tony the Tiger day.

p.s. Just for kicks, if you want a chuckle...look up "cake" The writer is funnier than her cake wrecks, and some of her cake wrecks are hilarious. That's my tip for today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh, What a beautiful MOOOOORNING!!

Oh what a beeeeUtiful day!!

For today, I am totally filled with joy. Why, might you wonder? We have contentious campaigns on the tele every day. Awful stories about mothers who may have harmed their own babies are played and replayed to the point of nausia. It costs two months salary to take a vacation in a neighboring state. So many things to be stressed or unhappy about. But, today...I don't care.

The creek is running, the hay is baled, there are fresh eggs waiting to be pulled from the nests, the peas are bearing a second crop, and the corn is tall and tasty. My children are all able to make their mortgage payments this month. My four sons are strong and courageous, not to mention kind, and oh, so handsome. My gorgeous daughter is tender and loving, very spontaneous, and such fun to be with. My grandchildren may not be cuter, or brighter, or funnier than yours, but I think they are anyway. My husband is a super hero to me, (and he's just outside the window watering my shade garden while singing and whistling. I love it so much when he does that) This morning, all is right in my world.

So, I think I'll skip listening to the news today. I won't hear one word fall from a political pundit's mouth. I won't fill up the gas tank while muttering naughty things under my breath.

I'll play the soothihg CD that Lin sent to me. I'll call my children and tell them how wonderful they are. I'll hug my hubby. And I'll walk through the grove with the breeze lifting my hair from my shouders and whisper a prayer of thanks for this one perfect, delicious morning filled with the sounds of nature and complete contentment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If only I'd just belly flopped!!

I was fifteen and a sophmore in high school... I had a HUGE crush on Alan Byers, who was absolutely the cutest guy in my circle of friends. We were at a swimming party. I should tell you that I used to think I was a pretty good diver. So, I perched myself on the board, took the clip out of my long, chestnut brown hair and shook it loose seductively, balanced, bounced, sprang into the air and curved my body downward to slice through the water gracefully...which I did, by the way. But, I decided last minute to do the Esther Williams bit and open my eyes wide and smile as I entered the water.

NOW... it is important that you know that I had a rare condition when I was in the eighth grade that necessitated having all but eight of my teeth extracted. Yes, I was a denture wearer at the ripe old age of 13.

Back to my story... The moment of impact, the rush of water forced my teeth out of my mouth. So, there I was temporarily blinded and toothless, completely unable to find my dentures. I reluctantly gave up the idea of just staying under water until I drowned and came to the surface just as my girlfriend, who saw what happened shouted, "Caryn's lost her teeth in the pool". And I sat on the sidelines watching helplessly as Alan Byers and every other guy at the party dove for my teeth.

Do you have any idea how awful it was to have Alan...tall, handsome, wonderful Alan hand me my "uppers"? He was shaking the water out of his hair and laughing as he placed them in my outstretched hand.

My life has all been uphill from that moment. Lots of embarrassing moments have come and gone... none that I was as devastated by...or enjoy the memory of as much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Broad shoulders/Tender hearts

So... just who is the sexiest man alive, anyway? According to People Magazine, it's been Brad Pitt, Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Tom Selleck, Matthew McCon(can't spell his name) and a whole slew of other chisel chested, square jawed, messy haired Adonnis types.

I used to think Jeff Chandler was sexy... anyone out there remember him? Robert Mitchum had a certain appeal to me. Gads! He was a star even prior to Jeff Chandler. (I am definitely no longer a "chick". My "pullet" days are long gone.) Maybe my wierdest choice for a sexy man was Charles Bronson. I'll send a dollar to anyone who knows who HE is. This man didn't have one single attractive feature... well, if you don't count his truly great body... His nose, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, eyes, cheekbones and jaw were all pretty skiwampy. He didn't have dimples, but he did have major ravines in his face almost everywhere. Somehow, when you put all his lopsided features together he just looked very masculine. Although, rather like a short, fleshtoned, vulnerable version of Frankenstein. But, he could make my older sister and I at least semi- swoon.

Anyway, I digress.

So... Who is the sexiest man alive? Let me give you my current thinking. It would be one who exhibits:

* Tenderness toward his wife, children, parents, pets...
* An ability to listen
* A willingness to respond to what he hears when he listens
* Spontaneity
* Humor
* Fidelity
* Kindness and friendliness towards people who serve him ie: waitresses, car valets, washing machine repairmen, pharmacists, the guy who works the counter at Walmart, Best Buy, and I.F.A.
(hmmm.. this is beginning to sound a lot like my hubby, oddly enough)

Bottom line... As I've matured, I've learned to recognize traits that will never be recognized by People magazine in judging what gives a man sex appeal. I don't find a man desireable who leaves wife number 2 for girlfriend #11 to father child #4 outside of wedlock, or thinks it's cool to drink and snort his life away, or has lost complete touch with the "common folk", and has therefore filled his 9 garages with 68 vintage cars, and the closets in his various homes, here and abroad, with five hundred seventy seven $6,500 suits. So, in the previous paragraph, I listed what I would use as criteria.

Oh yeah... did I forget to mention broad shoulders, good teeth, thick hair, smoldering eyes, long legs, and a jungle cat walk. Nah! I jest. In my mind, there is a HUGE difference between goodlooking and sexy!!! How about you?? Any nominations?

p.s. May I just take a moment of your time to say something kind about Paul Newman. He is one of the rare Hollywood leading men who married one woman, remained faithful to her, lived through some unspeakable heartache, and dedicated much of his life and a good deal of his fortune to helping others. He lived as a gentleman would, graciously, privately, and with dignity. In my mind, he earned the spot he held on magazine covers and in the hearts of his fans. I wish him and his family well during this difficult time. He will be missed by many.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Half of knowing...

It's is a GORGEOUS day outside today. Perfect! The sun is warm, not hot...the grass is lush, the flowers are in full bloom, the creek is chattering, telling tales about the mountain glens above as it tumbles over the stones below , the breeze is whispering secrets in the leaves of the trees... A variety of birds are twittering in noisy conversation. It seems all of nature on our land is visiting with one another. It's amazing how so many sounds can seem so still and quiet.

Do you know what I'm doing? Well... beside sitting at the computer, looking out the window and wondering why I'm not exercising the good sense to be out there? I'm wishing I was 30 pounds lighter. Wanna know what else I'm doing? I'm munching my way through a bag of M&M's.

What??? There is so little consistancy in my life. I just can't seem to get my right brain and my left brain to work as a team.

I read, or heard, or made up... that half of getting what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it. So... I guess that means I'm half way to being 30 pounds slimmer. I KNOW I have to chuck the rest of that bag of M&M's. It's the other half that seems to be the set back. You know... the actually giving up what you know you have to give up. There you go... I just tossed another one in my mouth.

I may have to say ta ta to you lovely ladies who may stop by, put on the pair of dusty Nike's sitting under the bench in the mud room, and mingle the thwup, thwup of my footsteps with the other sounds I hear. A walk may loosen some of my fat cells.... and some of the cobwebs from my brain. I need to clear up my mind so I can clean up my behavior. There are lessons waiting to be learned from the creek. If it stays on one place and doesn't move, it either swells or begins to dry up...either way, it stagnates. It had to travel many miles before it began to run clear, clean water and gained the capacity to offer nourishment and refreshment along it's path.
p.s. I will NOT take the bag of chocolate covered almonds with me. I WILL take them to the neighbors children. Oh, oh... see the inconsistency already? How can I take them to the kids across the street and not take them with me? Let me make a new commitment... I will NOT eat any of the chocolate covered almonds... the REALLY, YUMMY, chocolate covered almonds on
the way to the neighbors house. Ahhh...I feel two pounds lighter already.

Monday, August 4, 2008

To quote Doris...

I made mention of a Real Estate purchase gone awry to Mare in a comment on her blog. She wrote me and said she could imagine how upset I must have been that this "deal" didn't go through. First of all let me tell you that the commission on this contract was $54,000. I would only have kept 81.5% of that which still would have been a tasty amount. (around $44,000)

Now... had I thought what I'd do with that windfall? You betcha! I'd have written a hefty tithing check to my church, re-upholstered my occasional chairs and ottoman, built a deck on the west side of the house, set some money aside to help my kids over what may be a couple of rough months ahead, and quit work for the rest of the year...or forever.

Am I disappointed? Sure.

Am I upset? Not too much so.

Why am I disappointed? Because I had to go to the home of an exceptionally kind elderly couple with myriad and serious health problems, and tell them that the buyer had changed his mind about purchasing their property. They really need to get out from under the necessity of taking care of 92 acres of land. I really, really wanted to get it sold for them.

Why am I not too upset? Because I've been a realtor long enough to know that this kind of thing happens. And it happens more often than you might think. And because as long as I don't make the income, I don't owe the tithing, I can live with my furniture just as it is, I can live without the deck (we have a great patio), my children will be just fine, and I'd probably get bored if I quit working, anyway.

So as Doris Day sang many moons ago, "Que Sera Sera... Whatever will be, will be"

I'm waaaaay more concerned that my grandson is allergic to my dog and can't come in my house.
(We're working on that)
I'm waaaaay more upset that I have three gorgeous, smart, sweet sons that are lonely and too busy to find sweethearts.
(I wish we were working on that)
Heck... I'm more disturbed about the brown spots on my lawn.

I'm just too old to let money matter all that much anymore. I heard that "We spend the first 50 years of our life collecting things, and the last 50 years trying to get rid of them". For me, that is so true. I seem to have fewer needs with every setting of the sun.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Experience has taught me...

I watched a video yesterday that impressed me deeply. One of the comments made that particularly stood out was this:

"It's better to do the right things adequately, than to do the wrong things beautifully."
That struck me right between the shoulder blades and made me stand up straight. I've spent so much time doing the wrong things extremely well. I had a perennial flower garden in a home we used to own in North Ogden. I loved it and tended it constantly. Our home was bordered by an orchard on the east. Before I planted my prized delphiniums, Asiatic lillies, and evening primrose,my husband used to have the children pull the weeds in the orchard. I remember thinking how ridiculous that was. Why didn't he have them doing something useful? Then, my gardens were born and began to flourish, and I realized the wisdom behind pulling those weeds. If I didn't, they would creep, or their seeds be blown by the canyon winds, or carried and dropped by birds, into my Bleeding Hearts,Verbascum and daisies and choke their beauty from them. So, I spent countless hours in the same activity I previously thought was so silly. I weeded the orchard. It was an important thing to do. But, while I was protecting my flowers from noxious weeds, I wasn't taking the time to notice my boys being completely smothered by noxious friendships. And so... my perennial beds were gorgeous, and my sons went to weed.

Life isn't always a matter of chosing between what's important and what isn't. Sometime's it's making the choice between what's important, and what's imperative. Sometimes doing a really GOOD thing, isn't always doing the truly RIGHT thing. I think it's important to develop our creativity! I think it's important to help beautify the world we live in. Those are all good things! But... I believe with my entire being, that it's imperative that we parent the children who are given to our care to nurture, to teach, to protect, and to cherish. That is the right thing.

My home in North Ogden was sold. The new owner has a much busier life than I had and the flower gardens are no longer pristine and free of tangles of morning glory and grasses. Looking back, the time I spent on them doesn't seem so worth the deflected energy I spent on them.

My sons have managed to grow into strong, beautiful men. I'm so proud of them. Unfortunately, they had to dig hard and deep to rid themselves of some of the invasive weeds that took hold of them while I was tending flowers.

I take heart in knowing that good judgement comes from experience...experience comes from bad judgement. I learned from some of the poorer decisions I made in the past. I still have gardens of delphiniums, Asiatic lillies and daisies... I still love them and tend to them constantly. But...I take off my gardening gloves and put down my hand shovel when the grandkids are here. I spend time with them. We shoot arrows into the trees, sway in the hammock, and pick stuff out of the "Atta BOY" box. We go see the mini-ponies and Zebra's in a neighboring town, pick our breakfast cereal from the trees, and have their "poppy" teach them how to play football on the lawn. When my sons and daughter are visiting, there is nothing that takes priority over talking with them, listening to them, watching them with one another and their dad. It is imperative that I leave this mortal sphere with them knowing that they are deeply loved, respected, and cared for by their mother. I can hire someone to pull dandelions from the lawn and thistles from the flower beds. I can not hire someone else to fill my children and grandchildren with the absolute and secure knowledge that they and Wayne are my number one priority. I hope that I am doing the RIGHT least adequately. I don't care quite so much about doing the wrong thing beautifully anymore. I can do both, I know that. But, I have them prioritized differently now that a little wisdom and better judgement snuck in while I was growing older and more experienced.